In 1860, amid rumors of war, Sarah Eliza Mott, a teacher and only sister to five younger brothers, ceases to wonder what her own future holds when she accompanies her father to Roanoke Island, North Carolina, to investigate a shipwreck. With her thoughts dwelling heavily upon the abolition movement which she has just encountered on Long Island during the summer, she meets U.S. mailboat operator and Southern planter Lewis Sheldon Mann and his family and falls in love.
Throughout her visit, her thoughts dwell heavily on the abolition movement. In turn, Lewis faces a war that keeps him from following his heart as his Island is conquered and held throughout a long war, keeping the lovers apart, yet finally being the cause of reuniting them.
JUST ACROSS THE SOUND is a true story of three cities and the effect the Civil War had upon the lives of two families–separating them, yet binding them together.